Time for another word from the stoker.
I have to admit to feeling something of a fraud.
Prancing about in high-tech lycra-merino profi-gear enrolling loads of people’s goodwill to get these long-distance travellers with their long bike and awkward-sized panniers accommodated, while all we have done so far is cycle to and from stations, airports and bus stops.
Our longest ride has been from Liverpool Street Station in London to Heathrow Airport, i.e. 20 miles.
On the other hand, it’s good to know that however absurd I feel I might look, we’re also doing this for a Higher Purpose, raising money for the so very worthwhile Rory Peck Trust.
And, we certainly scatter joy wherever we go!
People wave to us, stop to talk to us, and the customs guys at Auckland seemed to quite relish our appearance, and didn’t insist on shrinking the tandem into their X-ray machine.
So, why travel all the way to NZ to cycle?
Well, the biggest difference to England is that the rain is WARM!
As we pedalled into Auckland city from the airport, a lady in a floral strapless dress joyously chirped “Isn’t it wonderful that it’s raining and has finally cooled down a little.”
Hmmm, yeah… Minutes before we had succumbed to the downpour and stopped to don full rain gear, consoling ourselves that it could only get better.
Which it has. After two bus legs from Auckland to Kaitaia, we’re about this morning to clamber aboard a tourist coach (hooray, in civilian clothes!) for the final 100-km stretch right up to Cape Reinga, camping near there overnight before, tomorrow, we actually start our sponsored tour south to the opposite end of this amazing country.